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Controlling entanglement risks

Controlling entanglement risks

Controlling entanglement risks

This safety alert provides information for employers and workers about how to control the risk of entanglement when using plant and machinery


Workers are at high risk of entanglement when working near powered plant such as farm machinery. Loose clothing, hair, gloves, jewellery, cleaning brushes, rags or other materials can become entangled with moving parts of machines, pulling the person into the moving danger points.

This can result in serious injury (eg scalping, amputation and de-gloving) or death. This risk is increased considerably when the guarding on plant and equipment is broken, has been removed or is not adequately secured.

In the last month, a farm employee sustained life threatening injuries when their hair became caught in a conveyor and another had their arm crushed in a hay baler.

Control measures

The risk of entanglement can be controlled by:

  • substituting the machine with one which has a lower level of risk
  • ensuring guards are fitted to prevent access to any moving parts and nip points that can have contact with the body
  • fitting guards that cannot be removed, where reasonably practicable
  • installing interlocked guards which require a special tool to remove them
  • providing emergency stop systems to shut down operation of the machine
  • shutting down the machine and removing keys or using a lock out/tag out system prior to removing guarding to undertake maintenance and/or cleaning. Allow for stored energy and run down time before commencing such work
  • inspecting guards for damage and repairing and replacing all guards before re-energising and starting up the plant
  • providing operators with adequate training and appropriate supervision prior to and when using the machine
  • ensuring operators do not have loose items of clothing, hair, jewellery etc that may get caught
  • providing and maintaining adequate warning signs as a constant reminder to operators and others of the potential hazards associated with the machine.

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